Loving Ireland's History

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I decided to get out of Ireland's second largest city today (Cork, popn 180 000) and explore the surrounding countryside on the recommendation of a local I met last night at the Instinct Bar. He recommended that I drive to Kilseny... one of Ireland's most successful tourist areas. I only drove for about 30 minutes... I'm finding that there isn't much driving to do at all here because everything is so close. I've only done 300km so far. Thank goodness... because the fuel is $2 a litre. I filled up my small car for $63 today... Kilseny is an attractive little town with an interesting walk that takes you past convents, town halls, green grass areas etc. and gives you a great overview of the town. I also went to Dragon's Castle, one of the town's most prominant tourist sights with an interesting past that dates back to the 1600s where prisoners of the day were kept in rough conditions by today's standards...

I'm loving having a car... a real luxury. Ireland is ridicously expensive, and I'd recommend the British Isles only for people with a pressing need or interest AND plenty of cash. It's off bounds for budget backpackers... I have always wanted to do Ireland so I'm happy to spend 2 weeks here... but no more. I've spent several hundred dollars over the last 3 days and I haven't much to show for it... budget accommodation, supermarket food and a few drinks. Given that I only get 58 euro cents for each aussie dollar, things definitely add up. I hate to think what Europe will do to the budget! This is a major reason why I've planned to spend most of my year in developing countries... I don't think the western countries are worth it (except New Zealand, South Africa and Canada).

People of all ages stay at these type of hostels... an older guy has just checked in (in his 50s) and another guy from the USA - studying Architecture. But I think he's checked out already. The hostel is ok... but when I reflect on paying $30 a night for the AB motel on Langkowi's beach front (own facilities and stunning restaurant) (and $10 for my own bungalow in Thailand) compared to the same amount I'm paying for a cramped 4 bed dorm in Cork, I know where I'd prefer to be... I have been told that South America will also be great value... of which I've since changed my mind about doing the tour in South America (way too limiting... and 36 days with the same people is a real turn off). Surely there's another way of doing Machu Pichu... It is a recurring theme in this travelpod that I have been most happiest in South East Asia. I'm very happy to think that the world's best travel destinations are on our country's doorstep... such as New Zealand and South East Asia.

The Guiness and Murphy's beer is absolutely delicious...probably the most satisfying I've had so far in my travels... the white head is the best part. The Irish are a rowdy lot and keep within their circle of friends which is making meeting people a bit difficult... like most western societies... the Qube Club I went to last night was good for a few hours to observe the locals dancing. Will probably go back there tonight. And then off to Kilarny tomorrow.
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